Is Marvel's Odin More Powerful Than Marvel's Zeus?

Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at brianc@cbr.com).

Reader Aaron W. wrote in with a straightforward question:

Between Zeus and odin who do you think would win Asgardian vs Olympian

This is a weird one, because Marvel, for the most part, has had this big thing about presenting a certain segment of the Marvel god pantheon was being basically equals of each other. When they introduced the concept of the Council of the Gods, one of the things that stood out (besides Marvel including some gods who are parts of actual current organized religions, leading to some complaints and some quick back-pedaling on the identities of some of the gods there) is the idea that they're all roughly peers and that no god there was greater than his/her brethren...

We saw this again in Journey Into Mystery #627, during the "Fear Itself" storyline, where Odin's older brother, the Serpent, was ravaging Earth and Odin was debating whether it made sense to just wipe Earth out and start all over again, if that's what it took to stop the Serpent. The other gods disagreed with this plan and Zeus was quite happy to let Odin know what he felt about the plan...

However, while they might SAY that the gods in the Council of Gods are all pretty much equal, that certainly isn't what they've down over the years. Odin has pretty clearly been shown to be demonstrable more powerful than the other gods. Odin's Odinforce has far outstripped anything Zeus's magical lightning bolts have ever done. Odin has sent the entire population of Earth to another dimension just to have an open playing field while he battled Surtur on Earth and once he was done, he brought the people back and then TURNED BACK TIME so that any damage done by Surtur would be erased, and yet Surtur was still trapped, outside of the time alterations of Odin. That's how powerful Odin is. And he didn't even act like it was all that big of a deal.

This isn't even getting into the whole "Odin was the main force through the creation of the Destroyer armor, which can punch through CELESTIAL ARMOR!"

But I think perhaps the best argument in favor of Odin over Zeus came in Thor Annual #8 by Roy Thomas, John Buscema and Tony DeZuniga. The story was a re-telling of the Trojan War, only an amnesiac Thor ended up getting involved in the battle and getting mad when the Greek gods kept interfering. So Thor took on Zeus himself and handled himself very well against the Greek All-Father...

Zeus ends the fight by reminding Thor of the truce between Olympus and Asgard, and Thor agrees to back down if Zeus agrees to stop being involved in the Trojan War (we see at the end, though, that a similarly amensiac Loki suggested the Trojan Horse to Odysseus). Okay, now compare that to any fight between Thor and Odin and there is no comparison. Odin wipes the floor with Thor every time they fight. So the fact that Thor was able to hold his own against Zeus speaks volumes and I think is good enough evidence to say that between Odin and Zeus, Odin is more powerful than Zeus, perhaps even more than just "Slightly more powerful."

Thanks for the question, Aaron! If anyone ELSE has a question they'd like to see me address, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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